Jesus Saracho made the most of his television debut, upsetting previously undefeated Cesar Francis to cap off an entertaining top-to-bottom main card on ProBox TV’s first offering of the year.
Francis (12-1, 7 KO) caught some attention and earned main event status after three nice wins on ProBox in 2022, but he didn’t quite have enough to handle Saracho (13-1, 11 KO), especially in the second half of the fight. Francis stunned Saracho late in the 2nd round, but too close to the bell to fully capitalize on the opportunity. Saracho landed a big left hand in the 5th that seemed to really boost his confidence, leading to a series of adjustments and counter-adjustments that brought a lot of see-saw excitement to the closing rounds
It was a hard fought, well-matched showcase for both men, who kept making the most of excellent corner advice. One judge served up a nonsense 98-92 score, while the other two delivered very reasonable 96-94 takes in favor of Saracho. Bad Left Hook scored it an unofficial 95-95 draw, with no objections to a swing of one round either way.
Oscar Alvarez Jr TECH. UD-7 Nicolas Polanco
Promising teen Oscar Alvarez Jr gave a quality performance, fighting through adversity without losing composure against proven vet Nicolas Polanco. Early returns for Alvarez (8-0, 7 KO) were not encouraging, with Polanco (20-4-1, 11 KO) starting out hot in the first round until Alvarez backed him off a bit with a solid shot to the body.
The first half of the fight looked like Alvarez might have been matched too hard, too fast, as Polanco controlled distance and put pressure on Alvarez high and low. Alvarez didn’t look distressed, but also didn’t seem to know how to adjust and match the intensity of Polanco. But, a flurry of 5th round body hooks changed the texture of the fight again, slowing Polanco dramatically and allowing Alvarez to fight off his front foot consistently.
Unfortunately, a clash of heads in the 7th opened an ugly cut over Alvarez’s eye and ended the fight early. Official scores were a silly 70-63 card, and two much more realistic 68-65 scores in favor of Alvarez. It looked touch and go early on, but Alvarez passed a meaningful test here.
Jonhatan Soares UD-8 Jose Arellano
Lots of back and forth action in the opener, where Jonhatan Soares bounced back from a shock first round knockout loss in his last outing with a controlling performance against Jose Arellano. Soares (15-1, 14 KO) needed a round to really get going, but largely dictated the action from then on.
Arellano (10-1, 6 KO) certainly made Soares work for the decision, bloodying his nose in the third round. But Soares consistently got the better of things, taking the win on unanimous 78-74 scorecards.